The Horizon League had six players named to the NSCAA/Continental Tire All-Great Lake Region team that was announced on Wednesday.
Valparaiso's Rita Craven - the Horizon League's Player of the Year - was the League's lone representative on the First Team. The Second Team had three Crusaders represented in defenders Jenny Fassbinder and Shelby Oelschlager, along with April Cronin. Green Bay's Heidi Hartmann and Wright State's Allie Metzler were on the third team.
Craven earned First Team honors after being named Horizon League Player of the Year and Horizon League Offensive Player of the Year, leading the Crusaders to an undefeated league campaign and a school-record 14 victories. Craven tallied five goals, four of which were match-winners, and three assists, finishing in a tie for second on the team with 13 points. The box-to-box midfielder matched Valpo’s single-season record with her four match-winning goals and now owns seven career match-winners, tied for second-most in program history.
Fassbinder and Oelschlager, a Second Team All-League recipient, helped anchor a Crusader defense which ranked among the top-five nationally all season long. The duo spent the most time on the field of any Valpo field players this season – Oelschlager 1,817 of 1,892 minutes; Fassbinder 1,777 minutes – as the Crusaders surrendered just nine goals in 20 matches. Valpo ranks fifth nationally in goals against average and posted a school-record 12 shutouts on the year.
Cronin joined the defensive duo on the Second Team after a stellar offensive campaign. The sophomore – a First Team All-League honoree - netted a team-best nine goals, ranking second in the Horizon League. Cronin scored all nine of her goals in a 12-game stretch, culminating with the match-winning goal in both the Horizon League Championship semifinal and title match as she was named Tournament MVP. The sophomore also tallied a pair of assists on the year, finishing with 20 points – the highest total by a Crusader since 2006.
Metzler was a Second Team All-Horizon League honoree in 2014 and was recognized by the league all four years of her Raider career as she was a First Team honoree in 2013 along with being named the Defensive Player of the Year, a Second Team selection in 2012 and part of the All-Newcomer Team in 2011. She was also named First Team All-Ohio last season. She was a key contributor to the Raider defense that posted a 0.91 goals against average this season after recording a 0.88 GAA in 2013. She also notched the game-winning assists in wins over Saint Francis (PA) and at Milwaukee.
Hartmann led the Phoenix in goals with 11 and points with 25. Hartmann also accounted for four game-winners this season, helping lead the Phoenix to its best finish since 2005. Her efforts at the top of the Green Bay attack helped rank the Phoenix first in multiple categories in the conference, including points, goals and shots, while ranking second in assists. Individually, the Plymouth, Minnesota, native was tops in the league in points, goals and points per game.